Saturday, August 3, 43 A.B.
Blue Ribbon Reality Check
Still no sign of my woodchuck friend.
I didn't expect there would be.
That's why I grabbed my Day Planner last night and penned in "Sob uncontrollably" for today and "Stay in bed and mope" for tomorrow. I might very well have stuck with that plan, too, if I hadn't chanced to pick up the newspaper this morning during the 10-minute break from sobbing that my wife insisted I take while she ran out to get more Kleenex.
It was in that newspaper that I read all about Larry Taylor after failing to fan away my troubles with it.
Larry Taylor is a refrigeration expert. For 30 years now, he's been in charge of keeping the Ohio State Fair's butter cow and calf in perfect condition no matter how hot things get during the fair's annual, 17-day run in the hot August sun.
As if that wasn't a big enough task, fair officials this year have also made him responsible for a butter bald eagle and a butter Liberty Bell.
The fair opened yesterday morning.
Two brief power outages occurred before noon.
Taylor took both in stride. As temperatures in the butter sculptures case edged towards 60 degrees and panic threatened to break out throughout Columbus and the entire state, Taylor calmly got himself a portable generator and restored proper refrigeration some 45 minutes before inevitable disaster.
Taylor shrugged off his heroic action and reminded reporters that he'd seen worse in his time - much, much worse.
"Two years ago, one of the ears on the butter calf fell off," he softly reminisced. "I went in there and put it back on. It wasn't a professional job, but it looked OK."
Thank you, Mr. Taylor, for selflessly performing emergency surgery on a faux bovine when you could have simply looked the other way, surreptitiously disappeared in a crowd of thousands, and made lots more money repairing and maintaining the home air conditioning systems of people who virtually never require one to reattach their body parts at no extra charge.
Thanks also for calling an ear an ear instead of the tympanic membrane or any other fancy name that would have required a tiring hunt for my medical dictionary.
And thanks for finally explaining why that calf failed to come to me two years ago when I called.
Most of all, however, thank you for the blue ribbon reality check. You've made me realize that the woodchuck problems of one small middle-aged suburban guy don't amount to a hill of beans in a world in which far worse things than unrequited love can and do happen. Maybe not in my own back yard, but certainly within a 30-minute drive from my back door - and that's enough to put the things I've experienced this week into proper perspective.
And that's enough to give me the strength to go off in search of ice cream and chocolate now instead of wasting an entire weekend sobbing and moping.
So, thank you - thank you from the bottom of my already healing heart!
If you need any free help keeping those sun-crazed, halter-dazzled, elephant ear-intoxicated farmers from trying to milk your ersatz herd - any help at all - please be sure to give me a call!
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(©Now by DJ Birtcher while lying down in the
coolest, shadiest part of his pen)
PS - I know you're probably not the one who makes these decisions, Mr. Taylor, and I know I'm probably not the best one to be giving advice here even if you are, but... in this age of high cholesterol readings and rampant obesity, has any thought at all been given to maybe switching to an I Can't Believe It's Not Butter cow? Or maybe even a broccoli cow?
Just a thought.